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Continuing our series of inspiring interviews with authors, this is an exciting one with Dana Lynn Smith.
I met Dana on Twitter, where authors need to be these days to keep up with social networking!
Can you tell us a bit about you and your books?
I am a book marketing coach, specializing in writing book marketing plans for nonfiction books. I also help educate authors about book marketing through my blog and ezine and by writing articles. This year, I'm publishing a series of ebooks to give authors in-depth information on key book marketing tactics.
What are your top 3 FREE ways for authors to promote their books?
1) Blogging is a great way to connect with potential customers. Most blog services are free or very low cost. You can also make helpful comments on other blogs that relate to your topic or audience, offer to do guest posts, or do a virtual book tour on relevant blogs.
2) Through online networking, you can meet potential customers as well as influencers who communicate with your target audience and can spread the word about your book.
3) Nonfiction authors should share their expertise through writing and speaking. Articles can be posted to online article banks and submitted to other blogs and ezines. You can also pitch story ideas to print publications. Speaking can be in person or through podcasts or teleseminars. Novelists may also think of creative ways to use articles and speaking in their promotions.
Book reviews are another low-cost promotional tool. For tips on where to send your book for review, see this article: http://www.publetariat.com/node/109
You've just published an ebook on selling to libraries. Can you reveal any tips?
Getting a review in a major book review journal is the best way to get the attention of librarians, so that should be your first goal. Due to space constraints, the journals can only review a small percentage of the books they receive, so many fine books don't get reviewed. But, there are other ways to reach librarians.
I advise authors to start by contacting libraries in their area, inquiring about programs for local authors and speaking opportunities. Consider donating a copy of your book to a few major public library systems, in hopes of generating orders for their branch locations. You can also reach librarians through direct mail, co-op exhibits at tradeshows, and co-op ads in library journals.
It's important for your books to be available through at least one major book wholesaler, because most libraries prefer not to order directly from small publishers. My ebook, The Savvy Book Marketer's Guide to Selling Your Book to Libraries offers tips on marketing to libraries and handling orders, as well as contact information for major libraries, wholesalers, distributors, review journals and library associations in the U.S.
You use various social networks. Which do you recommend for authors and why?
I absolutely love Facebook and Twitter—in fact, that's how I met you! Networks are a wonderful way to meet and develop relationships with people who share your interests. I've connected with so many people that I probably never would have met otherwise.
To find others who share your interests, use the search box on the social network to search by keyword and also join groups related to your book topic or target audience. Remember the golden rule of networking—give first before you receive. You should spend more time developing relationships and help others than you do promoting your own book or service.
The Savvy Book Marketer's Guide to Successful Social Marketing, due out in mid-March, offers tips for using social networks to promote authors and books, and covers other social and viral marketing techniques like videos, expert sites, forums, reader communities, and social bookmarking.
How can people contact you?
My blog at www.BookMarketingMaven.com has lots of book marketing tips, and my ebooks are available at www.SavvyBookMarketer.com. You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BookMarketer and find me on Facebook at http://profile.to/danalynnsmith/.
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